FCC's Martin circulates new AWS-3 plan

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is circulating a new plan to auction the AWS-3 spectrum that drops the requirement that the winning bidder, which would be required to offer free wireless broadband services, filter pornography. According to ARS Technica, Martin has already circulated a new version of the plan, which apparently he wants to the FCC to vote on before a new FCC comes in later in January.

"I'm saying if this is a problem for people, let's take it away," Martin said in an interview with ARS Technica. "A lot of public interest advocates have said they would support this, but we're concerned about the filter. Well, now there's an item in front of the commissioners and it no longer has the filter. And I've already voted for it without the filter now. So it's already got one vote."

Martin for some time has championed a nationwide licensee in the 2155 MHz to 2175 MHz band that would to dedicate 25 percent of its network capacity to free broadband service, install a network-based Internet filtering system to block pornography and allow open access to third-party devices and applications. Martin canceled the scheduled Dec. 18 vote on the plan after receiving a letter from key lawmakers urging him to delay the vote in order to focus on the transition to digital TV.

But Public Knowledge, Consumers Union, and the Media Access Project, among other groups, have suggested that the basic idea, without the smut filtering and stronger open access requirements, has merit. "We appreciate the potential of a new service that could provide a genuine alternative to the current wireline cable modem/DSL duopoly," they have written.

For more:
- read ARS Technica

Related articles:
FCC cancels December vote on AWS-3
T-Mobile fires back at M2Z ahead of AWS-3 auction

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